Kevin and Judy Moyle took a leap of faith by purchasing their first self-storage location 18 years ago in Houghton, Mich. Little did they know their business, Kevin’s Self Storage, would grow to include four more self-storage locations, totaling 19 buildings, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Six months after their first facility was completed, the Moyles began to see an unprecedented demand for self-storage in the area. The Moyles added one building to their Houghton property each year before purchasing properties in Lake Linden, Dodgeville, Calumet and Hancock in “Copper Country,” the term given to the area and surrounding suburbs because of its rich history in the copper mining industry.
During their time operating Kevin’s Self Storage, the Moyles developed a strong business relationship with U-Haul Area Field Manager Terry Mott. Due to unforeseen health issues, the Moyles began looking to sell their self-storage business in order to move to a warmer climate.
Throughout his many visits with the Moyles, Mott stressed that if the Moyles ever considered selling, U-Haul would be interested in making them an offer. This put U-Haul at the front of the line, as many other parties were interested in purchasing the five properties. It was a relationship forged through years of persistent follow-up and support that allowed U-Haul the opportunity to become the largest storage provider in the Upper Peninsula.
In fall 2014, U-Haul officially acquired the five properties, renaming them U-Haul Moving and Storage Houghton; U‑Haul Moving and Storage of Hancock; U‑Haul Moving and Storage of Lake Linden; U-Haul Moving and Storage of Calumet/Laurium; and U-Haul Moving and Storage of Dodgeville. Before selling the properties, the Moyles had planned to expand three of the properties, which U-Haul now intends to do. U-Haul also plans to continue adding services to help the residents of Copper Country with their moving and self-storage needs.
“Each of the five areas we now operate in Copper Country are tight-knit communities with a hometown feel,” noted Justin Kaminski, Marketing Company President for U-Haul Company of Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.
“U-Haul will continue to offer that small town, family-oriented service. We have received a warm welcome in these communities due to our providing expanded services that you don’t typically find in a small town. These acquisitions are proof that larger companies, such as U‑Haul, can operate in smaller towns, if they remember that we are able to be here because of our customers and community support.”